Meet Co-op Health
Co-op Health operates a digital pharmacy, specialising in the provision of NHS repeat prescription services. Co-op Health online and app services allow patients in England to order NHS prescriptions with ease and have them delivered straight to their door or to a Post Office® branch within their local Co-op Food store.
"We wanted to re-enter the health space in a way that addresses the pressures facing the NHS today, and looks to reduce those pressures in the future, whilst helping our users take more control over their own health."
Co-op Health is the first new business that the Co-op has launched is the past 14 years.
The digital pharmacy is based out of one of the Co-op's distribution centres in St Helens on Merseyside.
What makes Co-op Health unique?
Co-op Health makes ordering medication easy, by connecting securely through NHS systems directly with your GP. You can view and select your repeat prescriptions in real time and have them delivered free (with the Royal Mail Tracked 48® service) or you can collect it from Co-op food stores offering Post Office® services.
The secure NHS connection means that the service is more efficient than traditional telephone or face to face prescription ordering services; saving time and cost for your GP and local surgery team.
How long have you been working with Royal Mail and which products do you use?
Co-op has worked in partnership with Royal Mail for many years; and when Co-op Health was launched in 2018, Royal Mail was the natural partner to deliver medication to patients’ homes.
Co-op uses Royal Mail Tracked services, giving patients the confidence that they can see the progress of their delivery - making any redelivery or Safeplace arrangements in real time using Royal Mail’s new inflight delivery options feature. Most items fit through the letterbox, meaning that a patient doesn’t normally have to be home to receive their delivery, but if required Royal Mail’s Tracked products also offer a signature on delivery option.
Do you use one of our shipping solutions?
Co-op Health uses the integrations available within the Royal Mail Click & Drop solution. Co-op is currently looking at how the API based services available with Royal Mail Pro-Shipping could further enhance the dispatch process.
How has tracked helped and any enhancements you use have helped with delivering for your business and customers?
The trust that a patient places in Co-op Health to support their health and well being when they place an order for their medication is something that is highly valued.
Co-op Health uses Royal Mail tracked services to give patients the confidence that as much care is being taken in the delivery of their medication as was taken when it was prepared by their expert team of pharmacists and healthcare professionals.
Tracked 24® and 48 also include in-flight options for patients to use if they need to make alternate delivery arrangements once their medication is on its way. This additional service provides real comfort that the patient will be able to receive or access their medication at a time that’s convenient for them.
How has having an account manager helped your experience with Royal Mail?
Having the support of the account manager day-to-day has opened new opportunities for Co-op Health to explore for the future. It’s been good to have on hand support when we need it.
How has your business been affected by the pandemic and lockdown?
As with many pharmacy services, Co-op Health saw the dual effect of an increase in demand, short-term challenges in medicine availability, as well as the need to keep colleagues and patients safe. The Co-op Health team went above and beyond to ensure that all patients received their medication, and no patient was referred elsewhere.
During this time, Co-op Health
- Increased parcel volumes by 341%
- Increased dispensed items by 350%
- Supported over 5,000 patients with queries, through online chat features
- The ratings for the Co-op Health app improved on both Google Play and Apple App store.
- Co-op Health received positive reviews and direct feedback (including thank-you cards and treats for the team!) from patients who had been impressed with the level of service, dedication and care shown in the handling of their prescription during some very challenging times.
Why do you use Royal Mail, and would you recommend us to other retailers?
Royal Mail is a key supplier to the Co-op Group, and the service offering is closely aligned to the requirements for Co-op Health in terms of traceability, delivery performance and inflight delivery options.
What’s next for Co-op Health?
Co-op Health’s wider ambition is to support our members and customers in looking after their physical and mental health – they’re looking to the Co-op's pioneering heritage to lead the ‘self-care’ revolution.
Part of caring for ourselves is making sure that we can support the ones we care for. To support this, Co-op Health are looking at options to provide for ordering medication on behalf of others – this will be a real benefit for those with caring responsibilities. This is all made possible by Co-op Health’s secure technology.